Canadiens could be without Domi in playoffs


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Matt Murray makes a save on Max Domi in Montreal. -- (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP

The Penguins-Canadiens matchup in the best-of-five qualifying round already seems pretty mismatched on paper.

The Canadiens could also potentially be without one of their top forwards in the series.

Max Domi, who finished the season as the Canadiens' No. 3 leading scorer with 17 goals and 27 assists in 71 games, is a Type 1 diabetic. Having Type 1 diabetes does not make a person more susceptible to the coronavirus, but Type 1 diabetes has the potential to make coronavirus complications worse if the person does contract the virus. This is because elevated blood sugar levels weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off the virus.

As the NHL discusses return-to-play scenarios, there have been questions about how the league would handle players who have pre-existing conditions. Domi is not the only player in the league with diabetes -- the Rangers' Kaapo Kakko has both Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease -- and there are several players in the league with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Gary Bettman said in Tuesday's announcement that the league would handle such players on a case-by-case basis, and that they "expect players who are able-bodied to be playing.”

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a conference call on Wednesday that it's not clear yet if Domi will be able to play if the season resumes. Bergevin said that the decision will be up to the Canadiens' team doctors, and that if they decide it is unsafe for Domi to play, he will not play.

Bergevin added that no other Canadiens player has a health condition that makes their status questionable.

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